Should You Floss Dental Implants?

Like most of us, you have probably cringed after a dentist or hygienist has asked if you regularly floss. Flossing every day is an integral part of a healthy oral care routine so it makes sense why they would ask. For many people, flossing should be done on a daily basis in order to remove harmful debris that your toothbrush can’t get. But, should you floss dental implants? Below you will find how to care for dental implants and how they differ from caring for your natural teeth.

Should You Floss Dental Implants?

For those who don’t have dental implants, regular brushing and flossing is necessary for your oral health. However, those with dental implants cannot use traditional flossing methods for a number of reasons.

Risk of Infection:

Flossing is intended to remove excess bacteria and debris to prevent gum disease. However, flossing with dental implants can be risky. Traditional dental floss has been found to cause infections in those with dental implants. This can cause implant failure as floss is susceptible to shredding. The particles left behind can become trapped in between your implants and gum tissue and cause an infection.

Bone Loss:

Flossing can potentially cause bone loss. Aggressive flossing can damage the protective barrier surrounding the implant. With natural teeth, the periodontal ligament protects the underlying bone, but those are much thinner when you get dental implants. Therefore, the barrier is more susceptible to damage. If broken, bacteria can impact your bone which can lead to bone loss and major issues with your dental implant.


Traditional flossing is ineffective on dental implants. Because we place implants at different depths, and exist in different shapes and sizes, the spacing between implants can vary. The purpose of flossing is to remove harmful debris from those tight, hard-to-reach place. Because the spacing can differ with dental implants, traditional floss is not the most effective method.

Alternatives to Flossing Your Dental Implants

It’s important to consult with your dentist about their recommendations. They are more familiar with your unique dental situation so they can provide you with the most effective feedback. If you have dental implants in Yucaipa, you may wonder what to use to clean your dental implants if your dentist recommends avoiding traditional floss. Below are two effective options that can help keep your oral health in top shape with dental implants.

Interdental Brushes:

These are tiny round brushes attached to a thin wire handle that come in a variety of different sizes to fit your unique needs. They are similar to traditional dental floss as they can effectively clean between your teeth. Unlike floss, they don’t shred or come apart. They do help remove plaque and harmful debris left behind. Gently using interdental brushes is an effective alternative to dental floss.

Water Flossers:

Also referred to as irrigation systems, water flossers are a great substitute for traditional dental floss. Water flossers use a stream of pulsating water which operates similar to floss in removing harmful debris and bacteria. You can use it in between your teeth and across your gum line. It is a gentle, yet effective alternative for those who have dental implants.

Cosmetic Dentistry in Yucaipa

Dental implants are an effective treatment option that looks and functions just like your natural tooth. They are beneficial in a variety of ways as they can help restore your smile, improve any speech issues related to tooth loss, and help with chewing and digestion issues that may have occurred due to your tooth loss. If you are considering dental implants, contact Shodhan Dentistry of Yucaipa. They are the top location for cosmetic dentistry in Yucaipa and have helped countless patients restore the look of their smile.